100 reasons to celebrate

May 22, 2009 3:42:48 PM PDT
Philadelphia is home to one of the largest populations of centenarians in the US and many of them gathered to celebrate that accomplishment.66 of the known 401 centenarians in Philadelphia were here at this luncheon today, and they had a lot of stories to share.

Philadelphia's oldest residents celebrated life with family and friends.

Anna Henderson, who is the oldest Philadelphian at 109, feels honored to be here.

"I know more, and I can think very well, so I think God blessed me," Anne said.

Mayor Michael Nutter cut the cake and asked the centenarians for advice on living a long, happy life.

"To get to 100, I think is truly an accomplishment. This is an event the city has been a part of for a long time, and I'm going to make sure we continue it," Mayor Nutter said.

104-year-old Ayzman Lazar, a decorated veteran from Russia, has lived in Philadelphia for 15 years. His biggest regret is that he never learned English.

He says that a diet with lots of fish and vegetables helps him stay sharp.

99-year-old Daniel Rendine joins the centenarian club in July. He says, do everything in moderation.

"I never overdid anything and as I said before I'm not afraid to take a drink," Daniel said.

George Kennedy Senior just turned 100 on Wednesday. He says the most important life lessons are outside the classroom.

"If I had gone by what they were teaching in the colleges, I wouldn't be here now," George said.

Another centenarian, Anne Reisbord, says the best way to stay young is to keep the brain moving. Two years ago, she took up a new hobby, writing poetry.

"When I was 98 years old, something happened and I got a burst of creativity," Anne said.

The biggest secret to living a long life, according to these folks, is living each year to the fullest.

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